Tuesday, November 25, 2008

1932-34 Orbit Baseball Pins (numbered, PR2) #5, Frank Grube

Orbin published two sets of baseball pinbacks in 1932, one with numbers (cataloged PR2) and one without (cataloged PR3). Their tiny presentation area doesn't allow for much expression, so Frank Grube looks kind of squinty and irritable, packed into that upper-third of old-school catching gear.

This set parallels two other Orbit Gum releases, as the company sought to make more with less effort. As mentioned, the PR3 pin issue re-used the same pictures and players, but left off the numbers. The images showed up yet again in 1933 on the R305 Tattoo Orbits, a set notable for bright colors in a black-and-white era. The full PR2 checklist includes both skip-numbering and a handful of variations.

The above scan is hard-to-find Near-Mint pin, currently on eBay for $50 BIN. Most Orbit pins look more the dinged and scratched Grube below; that's the one I actually own.

Value: Low grade commons cost $5-10. Many collectors grade and slab the nice ones just to keep them stored flat, since buttons don't fit well in binders next to cards.

Fakes / reprints: It would be tough to fake a pin, but the set does include several Hall of Famers, so I recommend buying a type "card" from dealers with vintage expertise.


Robert Dick said...

The Orbit pins you wrote about were produced in 1933, not 1932, and the unnumbered set was produced first with the numbers added to create the second set.

Matthew Glidden said...

Thanks for your note, Robert. I worked from the 2004 Standard Catalog to name the sets and it calls the numbered PR2s "circa 1932." Sounds like they've updated it since then. Out of curiosity, do you know what led to the 1933 designation? (The 1933 Tattoo Orbits using the same images?)